Did you know that there are seven distinct styles of learning? Linguistic learners do well with reading, and can easily remember words, dates, and trivia. It’s the learning style that helps people easily gain knowledge. Of the seven styles of learning, I am probably the worst at linguistic abilities, which is incredibly unfortunate because my primary source of information for this crazy van dwelling project is reading stuff on the internet.
What style of learning am I best at? Probably bodily, or maybe spacial… neither of which is helpful when researching the manufacturing history of the Dodge/Mercedes/Freightliner Sprinter.
So what’s a girl to do when information won’t sink in as quickly as she’s like it to? How about talking to an expert who can quickly distill heaps of information into digestible morsels? Brilliant!
Jef and I took a field trip to the Mercedes-Benz dealership and learned one or two things, assuming the salesman that we spoke with was telling the truth. We were told that Dodge made the Sprinter (but used a Mercedes engine) for some unknown year until 2006. Mercedes took over in 2007 and has been making them ever since. Any Sprinters with a 158″ wheelbase that are being labeled as Mercedes Sprinters were really made by Dodge, because Mercedes did not make any 158″ wheelbase models, only 144″ and 170″.
We were also told that the dual rear wheels on the 3500 might classify the vehicle as a commercial vehicle, therefore drawing attention of cops and nosy residents. Eh, I’m not so sure the dual wheels part would draw as much attention as the big suspicious white van part.
I got to test drive a 170″ wheelbase model, and it was actually quite fun. I had a little freak out moment prior to hopping in the driver’s seat because I’ve never driven anything that large before, but the calm and collected Sprinter gently put me at ease. It did well on the city streets and on the highway, and I have to admit that I was impressed with how comfortable it was to drive.
The extra room inside the 170″ was nice, but it brings the overall length of the vehicle to about 22.5 feet. I’m not sure it will fit in a standard parking spot. A simple test would only require that I walk over to Ralphs with a tape measure… but I’m also not sure if I can maneuver a 22.5-foot long vehicle in a parking lot.
I’m a bit stuck on the 158″ because of it’s perfect size, so the next step is to try to find a 2006 Dodge Sprinter 2500 somewhere in Los Angeles and take it for a spin. If the salesman was right about the Dodge vs. Mercedes quality, then it won’t drive nearly as nicely as the brand new Mercedes I drove today. I’m hoping he’s wrong.
*Edit: A pdf of the 2006 Sprinter Specs reveals that the 158″ WB dimensions are almost identical to the 170″ WB dimensions, with the only exception being wheelbase. So perhaps I’m wrong about the 158″ being the perfect size. I won’t be convinced until I measure it myself.